Today's game between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros is being broadcast on MLB.tv and the replay of the game will be on later tonight on the MLB Network in a delayed airing. 27-year-old Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for the third time in Grapefruit League action this afternoon and according to reports from Kissimmee, Florida's Osceola County Stadium Gonzalez will be held to around 50 pitches in his third start of the Spring. In his first two starts, the 2012 21-game winner has given up five hits, two walks and two earned runs in 5.0 IP in which he's struck out three batters. Today's outing will be Gonzalez's last before he joins Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
According to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters this morning that 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Nathan Karns and veteran right-hander Ross Ohlendhorf are possible replacements for Gio Gonzalez in the rotation once the left-hander leaves for the WBC. Ross Detwiler's already with Team USA and he's scheduled to pitch on March 9th. Word is Chris Young will take over Det's spot in the Nats' rotation until he returns to the nation's capital's Nats. Though the Nationals are on the road this afternoon, there are a surprising number of regulars in the lineup which the Nats posted via Twitter (@NationalsPR) earlier this morning:
#Nationals lineup at HOU: Span 8, Espinosa 4, Harper 7, Ramos DH, Desmond 6, Tracy 5, Moore 3, Suzuki 2, Brown 9. Gio LHP— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) March 7, 2013
Coming off yesterday's HBP action, today's game with the newest AL West team might be a bit of a letdown, plus there's no Anthony Rendon in the starting lineup. BOO! But there's Gio! Yeah! 1:05 pm EST start this afternoon. MLB.tv and then MLB Network later tonight. Who's Watching the Nationals?